RV Antifreeze – Not all Antifreezes are Created Equal

As winter approaches the need to winterize your RV or trailer is upon us. While the coldest weather is hopefully still a few weeks away, it is always better to be prepared then to risk having any major problems with the plumbing. With winterization at the forefront of your mind it is important to understand the products required to perform the best possible winterization of your unit.

RV/Marine non-toxic antifreeze is probably the most misunderstood commodity in our industry today. There is currently 3 different types of AntiFreeze available today to use. We will be examining each of these products, as well as making recommendations as to which product to use to ensure the best and safest application for you and your RV.

Ethanol (alcohol) based: This type of antifreeze is most readily available in hardware stores and most RV shops it sells for approximately $4.00 – $6.00/jug. However, this product is also extremely flammable and not to used around any sort of pilot flames or cigarettes. As well, this product has been known to harm certain RV plumbing systems and should only be used with Quest or Pex plumbing lines. This type of anti-freeze can lead to bad smelling and tasting water come spring. Finally, because it is alcohol-based, it can dry out all the rubber seals readily found in your faucets and toilet. As a result, we at Sylvan Lake RV, do not recommend using this product – but do stock some if you wish to use it.

Propylene Glycol based: This antifreeze will only be available at your local RV shop (and not every RV shop for that matter). It sells for approximately $7.00 – $9.00/jug. It is non-toxic and safe for all RV plumbing. However, propylene glycol does not have fire safety warnings, nor the risk of tainting your RV plumbing system. Propylene glycol is also built as a lubricant and will actually work to extend the life of the seals in your faucets and toilets. This is the only product we use on our own RVs and the product we sell/recommend in our parts store. We have just received our first shipment of Propylene Glycol based anti-freeze.

Propylene/Ethanol Blend: Again this product is non-toxic and completely safe for RV plumbing systems. It will cost more than $6.00 – $7.00/jug. This may seem like a good idea. However, it is unknown how much ethanol is required to taint RV plumbing lines and dry out plumbing seals. For that reason we do not recommend this product.

So now that you know which antifreeze to use – you are ready to winterize your RV or trailer. Keep your eyes peeled as we will be releasing our DIY Video: How to Winterize your RV/Trailer shortly. If you have any questions feel free to give us a call 1-855-624-0911!